Thursday, January 7, 2021

U-S Newsrooms Lost A Record Number Of Jobs in 2020

Planned job cuts announced by U.S.-based companies jumped to 77,030 in December, up 18.9% from the 64,797 in November, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

December’s total is 134.5% higher than the 32,843 cuts announced in the final month of last year. In 2020, 2,304,755 job cuts were announced, 289% higher than the 592,556 cuts announced in 2019. It is the highest annual total on record, and 17.8% higher than the previous record high of 1,956,876 cuts recorded in 2001.

Despite the jump in monthly cuts, the fourth quarter saw the fewest job cuts of the year, with 222,493, down 55.3% from the 497,215 tracked in Q3 2020. It is 74.2% higher than the same quarter in 2019, when 127,687 cuts were recorded. With the exception of the quarterly totals in 2020, it is the highest quarterly total since Q3 2011, when 233,258 job cuts were announced.

“In the final months of the year, companies that may have survived the initial impact of the pandemic in March and April determined staffing adjustments based on increasingly difficult market conditions. While some segments were up, such as warehousing, shipping, financial, and some manufacturing segments, many others were hurt considerably, chief among them Hospitality, Entertainment, and Leisure,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. 

The Media sector announced the highest job cuts on record in 2020, according to Challenger tracking. This industry, which includes television and movie production, news, and advertising, announced 30,711 cuts. This is 201% higher than the 10,201 cuts announced in the sector in 2019. It is 6% higher than the last record number of 28,803 announced in 2008. Of the media cuts announced this year, 16,180 occurred in broadcast, digital, and print news.

The grim numbers come as multiple news organizations and TV news networks, including Fox News, ABC News, BuzzFeed, Vox Media, Vice Media, the New York Post, The Atlantic, Fortune magazine, the Tampa Bay Times and the New York Times, announced layoffs across their news and business divisions in 2020 as advertising revenue took a big hit with the cancellations of major events, the closures of businesses and the precipitous drop of ad spending.

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